Town in Alabama Poses Historic Challenge to Voting Rights Act

Thursday, June 07, 2012

In 2008, Calera, Alabama shifted the boundaries of its voting districts in a way that drastically altered the city's racial geography. Almost immediately, the U.S. Department of Justice wrote that Calera couldn't go through with it. According to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, states with a history of racial discrimination must obtain "preclearance" from the government to make voting-related changes. And in this case, the DOJ flexed its muscles. 

That set off a debate from Alabama to Washington about the relevance of Section 5 in the 21st Century. Is voter discrimination based on race a thing of the past? Or should the government still keep watch on those states which have an unpleasant history of racism? Kareem Crayton, associate professor of law at the University of North Carolina, has studied voter polarization. 


Kareem Crayton

Produced by:

Joe Hernandez

Comments [1]


Much emphasis on Republican strategists yet no mention of Democratic Party's history and voting rights.

It was the Democratic Party machine of the South which engaged in voting discrimination and intimidation against African-Americans, Republican voters and others who rejected the Democratic Party for over a century.

LBJ himself has storied allegations of his voter fraud with various elections including the 1960 Presidential race.
It seems the Democratic Party's reputation on voting laws from the Solid South to Eric Holder's Justice Department deserves some attention along with Republicans who take voter rights seriously.

There is a lack of knowledge of history and there is deliberate omission of history which contradicts a biased political narrative. Which is worse?

Jun. 07 2012 10:25 AM

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